In this piece, functional medicine practitioner William Cole, DC, explains the factors that can contribute to leaky gut. To learn more, check out his mindbodygreen course The Elimination Diet: A 60-Day Protocol to Uncover Food Intolerances, Heal the Gut, and Feel Amazing.
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, noted that "All disease begins in the gut." Today, science is catching up with antiquity.
Research suggests that many chronic and autoimmune diseases have roots in gastrointestinal problems. A large part of that research is centered around damage to the intestine's protective lining, or what's called leaky gut syndrome. That's when an increase in the permeability of the gut lining allows bacterial toxins and undigested food particles to pass through into the bloodstream. This intestinal breach can cause inflammation cascades throughout the body and even trigger chronic and autoimmune diseases.
I've found that many people, after I run labs looking for gut lining permeability, want to know how the problem began in the first place. Here are seven common ways you could get leaky gut syndrome: